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December 2007 Archives

December 1, 2007

Freedom’s Just Another Word For ‘Hegemonic Ruse’

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"I don't see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its own people. The issues are much too important for the Chilean voters to be left to decide for themselves."
-Henry Kissinger, 1975

Americans do democracy better than anyone else. Ever since The “big c” Constitution decided that black people were 3/5 of real person, we’ve known that citizen enfranchisement is a fungible commodity. From our electoral college to our hanging chads, from literacy tests to Bush v. Gore, we’ve earned the right to explain to the world’s ink-dipping mouth breathers that their whole “one person, one vote” crap is downright primitive.

So when a country like Venezuela is on the brink of amending it’s own constitution through a national referendum, it is only natural that the U.S. press establishment join forces to persuade the unwashed masses that they must take our interests into consideration. The results have been varied:

Jeffersonian: “Opponents are calling for a massive “no” vote. For the sake of Venezuela’s battered democracy, voters should heed the call.” Because the New York Times knows that telling foreigners how to vote is a central undermining underpinning of democracy.

Paternal: “For everybody's good, especially their own, let's hope the Venezuelans vote no on Sunday.” The Cincinnati Inquirer may seem cold and distant, but deep down it truly loves the stupid Venezuelans.

Theocratic: “As our Catholic bishops have already made clear, a socialist state is contrary to the beliefs of Simón Bolívar.” Um. What? A dissident Venezuelan general explains who he’d really like to see running the show; In today’s New York Times, once again forgetting what the word “Op” in Op-Ed is for.

Scary As All Get-Out: “… we face a moment when swift decisions by the United States and like-thinking nations could dramatically help, supporting friends and allies with the courage to oppose an aspiring dictator with regional ambitions.” America's worst military strategist in history has a modest proposal in tomorrow’s Washington Post. Somebody somewhere thought that would be a useful contribution to the discussion.

But leave it to those stewards of freedom at the Wall Street Journal pull out the big guns, a little tactic known as “talking crazy talk.” Watch them claim that the 2004 recall referendum was a fraud that was abetted by Jimmy Carter and (sweartogod) “the Bush State Department.” Watch them put the word “democracy” in quotes and compare it to violent government overthrow. Watch this piece devolve into a diatribe against their real targets: “Congressional Democrats” and “Joe Kennedy.” Because hey, what's one country's future when you have a much more important agenda at stake?

Note: The WSJ link seems to be as worthless as their editorial board. You can read the whole piece after the jump.

Continue reading "Freedom’s Just Another Word For ‘Hegemonic Ruse’" »

December 2, 2007

Another Chavez Victory Maybe Sort Of

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5:30 P.M. (Eastern Time U.S.): The revolution will be liveblogged, albeit half-assedly from this end.

Anyway, polls closed half an hour ago, and Reuters is quoting two government sources saying exit polls have the Yes vote is up “by between six and eight percentage points.” Stay tuned.

6:15 P.M. Update: Radio Venezuela En Vivo is reporting that opposition student movements are already handing out blue T-shirts reading "Fraude!" around the country. The Marigold Revolution begins.

6:30 P.M. Update: Radio Venezulea in Vivo reports that the “student movements” are preparing to protest, paint their hands black and to tear apart red t-shirts on T.V. If you’ve seen it in the Ukraine and Belarus, you know what to expect. Remember, they didn’t even bother changing their stupid fisty logo when they moved their movement to Venezuela.

6:35 P.M. Update: Gothamist is reporting that in New York City Venezuelans and their supporters rallied around the Venezuelan Consulate today in support of the reforma.

6:58 P.M. Update: In probably the surest sign yet that the “Si” side is ahead, Simon Romero has filed his preliminary story for tomorrow’s New York Times explaining that that poor people there are ignorant and probably never understood what this vote was about anyway, and that people weren’t really voting much.

7:40 P.M. Update: We're still a couple hours away from official results, it looks like. Meantime here's some video from Friday's demonstration outside the Houston Chronicle offices protesting their crappy Venezuela coverage in the leadup to all this.

8:30 P.M. Update:
But wait OMG an opposition blogger is saying that they won probably! And it must be true since his mom called and she was overseeing the voting table in her upmarket neighborhood where the “Si” vote only received 8.9% in a part of town where Chavez usually receives ten percent! Abort! Abort!

9:40 P.M.: Hey wait I’ve got “sources” too! And they say we’re looking at maybe a seven point spread with the Si vote winning. A few Caracas barrios are still open because the law says they can’t close until everyone who was in line at closing time must vote. These are Chavez strongholds, so it may spread the margin a bit but it means that official results may come in late. Yawn. No link.

10:01 P.M. : The New York Times stirs the shit up and updates its report!! “The streets here were unusually free of traffic on Sunday evening, adding to the tension.” Drama! They’re also saying the “Si” vote is up by 4 percent

10:20 P.M.
No new info here. You? Sorry. But did you see Angelo Rivero Santos’ opinion piece in the L.A. Times on Friday? Great, sane background on this whole mess.

11: 25 P.M.
Ok just so you know, this isn’t one of those “responsible” blogs in the sense that it that stays up all night to give you round the clock info. Instead it’s one of those “responsible” blogs that gets up in the morning to go to work. Check out round-the-clockness from Radio Venezuela En Vivo (in English, French and sometimes Portuguese). Although they sound sort of tired too.

12:45 A.M.: Or not. It looks like "No" won in a squeaker: 50.7 to 49.29 percent.

2:00 A.M.: The Washington Post writes: "Chávez immediately went on national television and conceded before a roomful of government allies and other supporters. 'I thank you and I congratulate you,'" and dictatorship is redefined forever and ever. The end.


December 3, 2007

Ok We May Have Misread That By A Point or Two

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But to be fair, it was close.

Now, for the overreach. How long before the opposition demand that Chavez resign? When will the WSJ retract their accusations of vote rigging? How long before Jackson Diehl explains to us how losing by a tiny margin, and immediately accepting the results, is actually a Machiavellian strategy to lull the world into believing that Chavez is a democrat before making the real move? The mind, she boggles just thinking about it.

Update 9:30A.M.: Gawd they are little wind-up monkeys, aren’t they? Oppo blog Caracas Chronicles is already arguing that they should have had a bigger win but Chavez “massaged” the numbers to make it look close. And it totally must be true because election officials took a few hours to tally the numbers. Of course, had the numbers been announced right after polls closed, that would also be a sign of fraud because with a vote spread less than one percent it takes a few hours to tally the numbers. As always, the opposition will eat itself. Buen provecho.

And Now For Something Completely Defiant

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It’s a new day in Venezuela, and so it’s a new day here at BoRev, tambien. And, really, nothing says “fresh start” quite like free music downloads, right? Starting today we are psyched to introduce a partnership with the University of Iowa’s own token ethno-musicologist, T.M. “Tomás” Scruggs, who got back this January from an 18-month stint in the Bolivarian Republic, where he documented, catalogued and recorded the diverse musical sounds of a revolution in progress.

You can listen to his kick-ass hour-long ethno-musical journey through the country here. And in the weeks and months ahead, you’ll also find a frequently updated archive of Venezuelan music on this site, complete with pix and Ph.D. quality descriptions, or your money back!

This week we’re starting out with streaming, but soon (i.e. “once we figure out how to do it”) we’ll be offering actual free MP3 downloads of music, never before heard outside Venezuela. Let’s kick it off with a fierce all-woman salsa band from the Caracas barrios.

Let the healing begin! After the jump…

Continue reading "And Now For Something Completely Defiant" »

December 4, 2007

Picking the Lint

In case you’re ready, two well written referendum postmortems come from Tariq Ali and Oil Wars


What Venezuelan Democracy is Missing

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Hey remember when Bush lost the election to that Gore fella but still stuck around to lead us? Wasn’t that weird? Apparently it was “democratic,” too, because it involved the Supreme Court, an influential brother and a MILF-y Secretary of State (pictured).

Ok fast forward. Seven years and 1,126 464 dead Iraqis later, there is a different referendum with a different president in a different country, only this time the president lost his vote and immediately conceded, and the whole thing only underscores his dictatorial ambitions or something.

Hey can you tell? I’ve been reading America’s editorial pages! Join us in Rupert Murdoch’s wet dream, after the jump…

Continue reading "What Venezuelan Democracy is Missing" »

December 6, 2007

Hey Wait The Costumes Are Different, But They’re All Singing the Same Song!

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J’ever notice how just about the only place you won’t find that ubiquitous “invisible hand” lurking around these days is the in the marketplace of ideas? Which is why the joint Newsweek/Washington Post project "PostGlobal" might have been a worthwhile project, like if it wasn't put out by Newsweek and the Washington Post. Basically, they invite writers from different countries to comment on “global” issues. Sometimes they even let brown people participate, which is probably why the editors keep it “online only” instead of putting it in the real paper. But still.

Course, even in an online format they aren’t going to actually let poor people or other cultural extremists weigh in, so you’re never going to get any real range of political opinions. Still, it’s worth checking the section out, if for no other reason than to write down the Email addresses of the contributors since who knows? You might end up in Mumbai one day and need the address of a really great salon. Kidding! Sorta.

Anyway, today the Big Question is some variant of “How awesome is it that Chavez was crushed in the polls last weekend?” And everyone answers “awesome in this way.” You could read it I suppose, but let me save you the trouble:

The Mexican hopes that the vote marks the beginning of a new left that believes in unregulated marketplaces and very few social safety nets like in Chile. And then the Spaniard explains that Chavez was never a real leftist, because real leftists only believe in unregulated marketplaces and very few social safety nets like in Brazil and Chile. Then Brazilian is like, “there’s no left in Latin America anymore and Chavez was a dick to me once” and the American is like “there’re no leftists anywhere anymore because leftists are all dicks who hate America.” And then the Iranian points out that leftist movements exist because of the poor people and the Peruvian tells the U.S. it should stop the poor people by banning Venezuelan oil, while the Indian is all like “God must be against Chavez because the vote margin was so small.”
Maybe tomorrow they’ll debate the whole thing again only from the point of view of the other half of Venezuelan society! Haha. That would be rocking the boat in the middle of the happy cruise.

Like Bush v. Gore, Only If Bush Controlled the Newspapers

Time Magazine has a compelling little analysis of the Venezuelan elections and What It All Means. You might dig this backstage-at-the-palace description of the hours leading up to Chavez’s concession speech:

At 10 p.m., Chávez was still losing by less than 2 percentage points. But the CNE, seemingly overwhelmed by the close contest, delayed its announcement while Chávez waited for the margin to drop below 1%, at which point he'd seek a recount (as Al Gore did in Florida in 2000, he said later). But the margin barely budged, and the opposition started seething in the streets, fearing fraud. Around midnight, Chávez's ex-defense minister, Raul Baduel, who opposed the reforms, warned that Chávez was flirting with popular unrest. By 1 a.m., says a government insider, Vice President Jorge Rodriguez — a respected former CNE director who had guided the transparent presidential recall referendum that Chávez defeated in 2004 — helped convince el comandante that conceding was "the only alternative left" and that he shouldn't wait any longer.
With a vote margin in the one-percent range, delays of a few hours would normally be considered sort of expected. But this is Venezuela, so they’ve spawned all kinds of innuendo and, as always, planted rumors. Opposition groups have been on the horn your more opinionated U.S. press outlets, which’ve been happy to forgo the fact checking to pass them on. So: The Wall Street Journal explains that the result might have been negotiated. And God’s Will on Earth™ says the concession prob’ly came only after the threat of a military revolt. And the great part is truth doesn’t matter because the lingering doubt is actually the point.

UPDATE:
Oh then there's the fact that the military high command denies the whole thing too.

OH, AND:
Venezuela ain't Florida

December 7, 2007

Our Readers, Ourselves

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The Latin Americanist ranks our readership readability. And it’s time to have that conversation about “deodorant.”

December 9, 2007

We Don’t Care, We’re

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So somebody should explain to Jorge Castañeda the difference between the subtle, permissible misrepresentation that has come to characterize the press coverage of Venezuela in recent years and, um, how to put this? Oh I know: outright, verifiable, career-ending motherfucking slander. And while you’re at it, you may want to pass a similar note on to the editors at Newsweek so they can cover their butts just a bit, legally speaking.

Anyway, this shittard’s got an “opinion” column out this weekend based on the following multi-part premise:

1. Chavez actually lost the referendum by a far wider margin than was reported.
2. The president originally planned to “try to overturn the results.”
3. The military high command stepped in and “virtually threatened a coup d'état.”
4. The final, narrow, vote tally was part of an internal negotiation with elected officials and the military “so he could save face and appear as a magnanimous democrat in the eyes of the world.”
5. Other Latin American leaders know this is true, but are keeping quiet about the whole mess because Chavez has the means to destabilize their countries if they speak out.
Serious charges, right? Enough to alter history and maybe bring in a Newsweek fact checker? Haha, no. Apparently Castañeda and his solitary, unnamed “intelligence source” are enough for the magazine’s embarrassingly lame standards, this despite the fact that the scenario describes is not only been denied by all players, but is actually, inalterably, and physically, impossible. Which might explain why not even the most hardcore among the Venezuela-based opposition are making charges this nutso. You see, they’ve got the vote results, and not just the “official” numbers from election authorities, either. Under Venezuelan law, the actual tally sheets from every voting center get passed on to the opposition as soon as they come in. So they aren’t making this charge. But somehow Jorge Castañeda is.

Seriously, what’s his game here? If you’ve got unnamed intelligence sources of your own, please pass the theories on to BoRevNet (at) Gmail (dot) Com. We’ll totally live up to Newsweek’s standards of scrutiny before publishing them as fact.

Breaking: Reuters Staff Made Up of Bi-Curious Twelve Year Olds

Reuters has discovered Google Trends, and they’re pleased to report that Venezuela is the top country in the world to Google the words “David Beckham,” second in googling “Britney Spears,” and third for “Homosexual,” three not entirely unrelated concepts. Although to be fair, “Chile also came in first place searching for the word ‘gay,’ followed by Mexico and Colombia.”

Hat Tip: Chase Me Ladies

Hey Didn't The Press Used To Work Like This?

Either I’m still asleep or The Nation has brought together a slate of five critical, well-informed and level-headed analysts to discuss contemporary Venezuelan politics. Seriously, Marc Cooper didn't even line up a right wing Salvadoran murderer to weigh in this time.Recommended!

December 10, 2007

The Decline of American Civilization, Volume 8,589,034

I’m not sure what’s more disturbing about Barbara Walters’ Ten Most Fascinating People of 2007: the fact that Hugo Chavez is sandwiched between radio bigot Don Imus and Dreamgirl Jennifer Hudson, or the fact that the press needed to include a parenthetical explanation of who Chavez is is, but not for Hudson or somebody named “Katherine Heigl,” who is apparently on a television program. (Thanks, Google!)

At Least They’re Better Looking than Maria Conchita Alonso

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Well this is just fascinating. A Spanish journalist put together a li’l documentary about those Venezuelan student movements, and you can watch it here. Chalk it up to being a student-leader, but from a PR perspective I don’t think student-leader Ronel Gaglio probably should’ve been bragging so hard about all the “support” he and his friends have received from “right-wing sectors” in the European government. Or how Silvio Berlusconi’s political party paid for them to learn the ways of the color revolutions at a camp in Serbia. Or how crazy ass Cardinal Renato Martino (best known for telling observant Catholics they shouldn't give money to Amnesty International) officially high-fived them at the Vatican.

It also includes footage of these crazy kids trying to torch the pro-Chavez students at the Central University while chanting the quaint refrain “Your gonna Die, You’re gonna Die, the Chavistas are going to die”

Super-double hat tip to Gringo in Venezuela for the English subtitles on this bitch.

Not Sure Exactly How To Explain All The Breast Implants, Tho

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Here’s some more analysis of the latest Latinobarometro poll from an unlikely source: the global financial analysts over at RGE Monitor. In a nutshell:

Chileans may be walking around with their glass half-empty, but the Peruvians haven’t drunk from the spring of optimism since Montesinos ran off with the bucket. Uruguay is cheerful, naturally. Brazil is corrupt, naturally-er. Argentina is an “also ran,” and Colombia and Mexico don’t care for the democracy so much. Venezuela, on the other hand:


“…wins the race by a mile, with top three positions in seven of the ten categories. Happiest of all LatAm about its present and future economic situation, the way the money is being distributed inside the country, and about its justice system, these results fly in the face of what we are repeatedly told about Venezuela.”

Honestly, don’t these people know how miserable they’re supposed to be? In case you missed it, our summary of the report was here.

December 11, 2007

Títulares & Asininity: Emotional Extremism

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>>> Did you hear that some Venezuelan guy brought money to Bolivia which obviously-probably-maybe means that Chavez “is trying to purchase uranium from his Latin American neighbor for transshipment to Iran”!

>>> Whoa whoa wait Venezuela just invaded Kuwait Guyana!

>>> OMG Chavez is exactly like Hitler! And so is Hillary Clinton and Michael Moore!

>>> Holy crap Chavez is shutting down newspapers by not forcing people to buy them and then they can’t buy paper and, um…sorry, I don’t get this one.

>>> Oh wait the press might actually be behind this whole “tyrant” thing.

>>> Right, duh, Venezuela is still a Democracy. I keep forgetting.

December 12, 2007

Awesomely Bad Chavez Comparisons...of the day

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Greetings! I don’t know how often you people read newspapers, but if you’re like me, the answer is “sometimes.” Lately I’ve been noticing that the American public is making frequent use of Hugo Chavez as a comparison to issues they actually meant to write about in the first place. Awesomely, nobody in the United States really knows anything about Venezuela or its people, which makes Chavez particularly useful as the strawiest of men, sort of a big, gabby, all-purpose metaphor. And the results can be hilarious. Let’s take a look at a few examples from the last 24 hour, shall we, after the jump…

Continue reading "Awesomely Bad Chavez Comparisons...of the day" »

December 13, 2007

It’s Not Plagiarism if Cash Transactions Are Involved

In case you were wondering how your crappy local newspaper arrived at its “opinion” on Venezuelan politics, they paid good money for it, dammit:

Richard Haggstrom wrote us last week to "report a possible breach of journalistic ethics" when he noticed two recent Enterprise editorials about Hugo Chavez that had appeared, word for word, in other papers, including the Rocky Mountain News (Denver) and the Boston Herald. In the Enterprise print editions, they appeared under the banner "Our View," and on the paper's Web site they ran under the unlikely byline "Enterprise Staff." Haggstrom feared there was some sort of plagiarism going on.

Upfront had another hunch, and called Enterprise Editor Debbie Davis to check it out. She confirmed our guess—that the editorials were purchased from a wire service, in this case the Scripps Howard News Service, based in Washington, D.C. As part of the agreement between Scripps and the Enterprise, the Davis paper is allowed to print editorials under the banner ‘Our View,’ and present them to readers in the same way it presents locally written editorials.

Hey, why not? It’s not like anybody believes what they read in the newspapers anyway.

Colombian President’s Relatives Murdered Father of His Anticorruption Chief

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Or something. Apparently Colombia's top “anticorruption chief” was forced to resign today on account of his dad was assassinated by the president’s family members. Honestly I’ll probably never understand the macabre layers of Colombian politics, probably because I’m not “democratic” enough.

December 15, 2007

Who Could Possibly Question the Word of Guido Antonini?

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As everybody knows, BoRev.Net is a sensitive new age blog, so we’re asking our more juvenile readers to keep their snorts to themselves, pls, when we note that recent “probes” into Cristina Fernandez’s “campaign finances” just…smell a little fishy. Well, then…

You may have heard that U.S. attorneys are investigating whether Venezuela gave money to the campaign of Argentina’s humpy new president. “Wait,” you say, “Why would taxpayer-funded American investigators possibly care, considering that this involves two countries that are not the United States?” Because, dear reader, the U.S. is always concerned that elections worldwide remain free from undo influence from outside governments. Haha kidding. No actually there’s a way for them to get ding in at Hugo Chavez here, somewhere. Of course you’ve gotta dig deep to find it. Fortunately, though, we’re working with American journalists who are used to digging deep for the story behind the story. Kidding again! Basically they had a U.S. attorney lay out a convoluted conspiracy theory and then sent it out to reporters to write up. Sadly : (, there are about a million holes in the story. Here are a few that immediately spring to mind:


1. The whole conspiracy hinges on the notion that the Venezuelan government needed to get $800,000 from Caracas to Buenos Aires stat, so naturally they called an American mafioso (named Guido!) in Florida and asked him to fly to Caracas, stuff a suitcase with cash, and hand deliver it to Argentina because, in this reality, nobody in Venezuela was up to the job, wire transfers don’t exist, and apparently Peter Sellers was busy.

2. Eight hundred thousand dollars, which wouldn’t influence a regional election in Burkina Faso, is apparently enough to swing the presidency of Argen-fawking-tina.

3. Guido himself is not actually charged in any of this. In fact, he sought haven in the United States as soon as it was discovered and, of course, immediately “turned” state’s witness.

4. The people who are being charged in all this were never involved in the alleged deal to begin with. While the implication is that they pressured Guido to cover up the…crime?…they aren’t implicated in any obstruction or conspiracy or anything. Their charge is “failing to register as an agent of a foreign government.”

5. Cristina Fernandez could’ve easily been like, “Look, motherfuckers, I didn’t know about any of this.” Instead, she was all “imperialist bitch, please.” Which makes her even hotter.

Of course, the English language press has missed a couple of the nuances of the case. The Financial Times reported that the four “agents” were arrested for trying “to smuggle" the money, and it’ll be fun to keep track of how many additional misconceptions come out of this storyline,which was probably the point of it all to begin with.

December 17, 2007

Amazing Suitcase Story Survives for Another Media Cycle!

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Public Relations Tip: If you have a high-profile but weak case and you need to maximize media coverage before a judge tosses it out, do what the pros do: slow release new details each day., no matter how lame. Reporters are that easy:

>>> OMG Breaking News! Guido Antonini is officially the one working with the feds! So that’s why he was wearing a wire! Thanks, tomorrow’s New York Times!

>>> Oh! and U.S. prosecutors have stopped saying that those mysterious “foreign agents” actually threatened Antonini. Now it’s just a bribe:

>>> Oh! Oh! and this whole thing is such a huge matter of international importance that the judge is already allowing one of those mysterious foreign agents out on bail

>>> Oh! Oh! Oh! And that crazy lady at the Wall Street Journal is courageously standing alongside the Bush Administration in all this. And she somehow manages to call the Argentine president a terrorist appeaser.


Not sure what the hell we're talking about? Here's the original post. Anyway, you tired of this suitcase crap? Then how about a topic you were sick of last week instead? Democracy Now hosted a nice little debate on the Venezuela’s referendum and What It All Means™. Yes I know, I’m so over the post-ref navel gazing, too, but this was a good one.

December 18, 2007

Are You There God? It’s Me, Alvaro.

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Sure, we chide Colombian President Alvaro Uribe for being a psychopathic, coke-fueled, killing machine, although on most of days, he’s just a sorry little fuckup. And today’s one of them “most” days.

This afternoon the FARC decided to hand over three high profile hostages, only to Venezuela. You may remember that this comes just a couple of weeks after Uribe fired his Venezuelan negotiator in chief for…well nobody is really sure why. But let’s go ahead and hope it’s a Merry Christmas for all the families concerned, event though there are better than average odds that Uribe will screw the whole thing up again. As Chavez put it, "Let's hope Uribe doesn't know anything [about the release].”

December 19, 2007

Confidential to Cristina Fernandez de Whatshisname

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My Darling Cristina,

I’ll admit I’ve adored other presidents before you. It’s no secret that I’ve lusted after Rafael Correa’s sun kissed body as it emerged, wet and glistening, from the waters of the Pacific like some primal man-Venus on a Guayaquileño half-shell. But, mi amor, this time is different, and it may just be for keeps.

I won’t lie. When I’d heard you’d taken a principled, daring stand against the despised Bush Regime your first week in office, I was afraid. “Take caution!” I cried out (on the inside). “Messing with the empire is a dangerous business!” But you knew better. You always seem to.

Fear, however, quickly turned to arousal as you exposed as basura the yanqui politics that seek to “subordinate’ other nations, and restated your solidarity with the Bolivarian Republic. So passionate, so honest, so fiery. At that moment you could not have better embodied total Latina womanhood had you been wearing a bowl of fruit on your head. I mean that, my love.

Yet you are not afraid to show a tender side. The Associated Press noted that you were shaken, “visibly angry,” even, when you were forced to explain how U.S. unilateralism “has only created tragedy, pain and insecurity in the contemporary world.” Like the beguiling fan-wielding Geisha-Cristina in the portrait, you are equal parts beautiful and aloof, vital yet inaccessible. A dangerous woman.

Frankly, I even admire the pluck your soon-to-be-cuckolded husband demonstrated yesterday by reinforcing your—our—beliefs in public, although to my ear they sounded a bit…desperate, the sound of a husband who knows he no longer truly possesses his wife. Such a loyal man. Poor Nestor.

But it was today, mi paloma, when you took steps to restrict the movements of the US ambassador within Buenos Aires, that you won my soul as well as my heart. I know that one day it will be my own movements that are restricted, as you strap me firmly, permanently (yet gently, so as not to bruise), to the four post bed of your steely will.

Until destiny brings us together, my love. I remain,

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PS: You’ll forgive me if I refuse to refer to you by the harsh Teutonic surname of your one-day-former spouse. For now and always, my love, you are, simply, Cristina Argentina. XXXOOO

PPS: In case you missed some of the nuances of my native tongue, my pet, my pledge of devotion has been translated.

December 20, 2007

Títulares & Asininity: Stuff You Knew Instinctively

>>> Argentina’s Congress agrees that the U.S. probably “resorted to a ‘band of mafiosos’” to sully Cristina’s reputation.

>>> Many Venezuela “experts” and “analysts” are full of crap.

>>> Maria Conchita Alonso’s career comes to its inevitable climax with a VH1 reality show involving Charo and Puerto Rican psychic Walter Mercado.

>>> Venezuela’s unemployment rate was lower last month than any time “since monthly numbers on labor started to be recorded”

>>> If Rafael Correa is trying to claw his way back to the top of our crush list, annoying some dickhead writer at Forbes is a good start.

BoRev Musicology: Rebelíon Andina

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The Doctor is in! Every fortnight or so, University of Iowa's own ethno-musicologist T.M. "Tomás" Scruggs classes the up the joint with his exploration of the diverse sounds of Venezuela from just about every region, class, sect, ethnicity and political persuasion going. Oh and there are free music downloads, too. Check out our archive of previous songs, or click here to listen to Dr. Scruggs's hour long audio-ethno-musical journey through the country.

This Week:
Rebelíon Andina takes on big media. Join the revolution, after the jump.

Continue reading "BoRev Musicology: Rebelíon Andina" »

December 21, 2007

Pollster: Hugo Chavez’ Popularity Rating Would Be Higher If He’d Knock It Off With the Public Rapings

My favorite thing about the Miami Herald’s “sister newspaper” El Nuevo Herald is that you always know where it stands on the issues. This is because approximately half of its staff also works for the Bush Administration, so there aren’t really many surprises. Which is why ENH specializes in recurring storylines. They’ve got this one called “Everyone in Venezuela Secretly Hates Chavez, and Here Are Some of Them Now,” that seems to be a giant hit with readers because they publish it about 3 or 4 times a week.

But even Bush Administration “reporters” get bored with writing the same stories over and over again, and while some of them spice up their day by becoming prostitutes (hi Jeff!), others simply find the craziest people imaginable and quote them. Anyway this is all a long way of saying there was a funny quote in one of these stories the other day. Some opposition pollster was trying to explain exactly why Everyone Hates Hugo™ and used this analogy:

''If you have a girlfriend who's angry because you made an indecent proposal,'' said pollster Luis Vicente Leon, ``the worst strategy is to try to conquer her heart by shouting under her balcony that, whether she wanted it or not, sooner or later, you will do what you want.''
And you know I guess he’s really got a point there because HOLY CRAP CHAVEZ IS RAPING PEOPLE NOW?! I’m def. going to start reading El Nuevo Herald more often.

December 29, 2007

Please Stand By

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Sorry. It’s been a week. But in our defense Christmas got in the way and the world sort of ground to a halt. Oh and we broke our foot (Totally sucks thanks for asking). Anyway, we’re back, if not exactly kicking, this weekend, k?

December 30, 2007

Popular Colombia Hostage Program Renewed For Second Season!

It sure has been a cliffhanger, hasn’t it? While we’re all sitting around waiting for Jack Bauer Hugo Chavez to bail Colombia out of all of its probs again, let’s take a moment to reflect on the weirdest moments of the whole saga, shall we?


September 1:
Our story begins as Colombia and Venezuela announce that Chavez will help mediate a seemingly endless hostage dispute to much global fanfare.

September 5th: Hapless neighbor to the north “The United States,” remains “unaware” that any of this is happening, even though three of the hostages are ostensibly American.

November 13th:
Colombia’s crazy ass president nearly scuttles the whole deal when he threatens to personally murder the FARC leader if he shows his face during the swap, in case you were wondering why nobody ever asks Uribe to negotiate anything.

November 21 (Morning):
Uribe makes a speech praising Chavez and calling him the “only hope” for a successful hostage negotiation.

November 21 (Noon):
The United States contradicts Uribe, explaining that Chavez’s role is (supposed to be) a failure.

November 21 (Evening):
Uribe’s like “yeah right sorry,” and makes up a lame excuse to take Chavez off the project.

November 22:
France begs Uribe to stop being a little bitch.

November 23:
Everybody is sad : (

November 26:
Blah Blah Blah Colombia. Blah Blah Blah Venezuela.

November 30:
Videotapes show that hostages are still alive!

December 5: Hostage families tell Uribe to go fuck himself and ask Chavez to negotiate behind his back.

December 18: FARC leaders say they’ll turn over 3 hostages! But to Chavez, not Colombia!

December 28:
International Herald tribune briefly runs the headline “Uribe islolated” but then quickly changes it.

December 28: Oliver freaking Stone shows up to film the whole thing, all but ensuring a zillion new head scratching plot twists before it wraps up over-long and over-budget.

Stay tuned for the season finale. Coming this afternoon! Or tomorrow or something.

December 31, 2007

Things Are Gonna Change I Can Feel It

crystal.jpg

Hey did you hear? The New York Times is hiring the best Hollywood comedian eh-vah as an Op-Ed writer!! BILLY CRYSTAL was SO AWESOME in City Slickers and When Harry Met Sally and, um, as one of the monsters in Monsters Inc. And frankly after that long string of rightwing fuckbags like Judy Miller and David Brooks it will be so so welcome to see some comic relief in the paper. Comic Relief! Get it?!?

But Crystal is more than just a funnyman, he’s also got a conscience and is pretty lefty and the NYT could really use some of that balance, especially after publishing this steaming piece of op-excrement yesterday on Venezuela that, as one of our readers awesomely put it, “attempts to reinvent bourgeois ideology as "revolutionary." So true! But change is coming in '08, my brotha, just hold on!

So kudos, New York Times, for taking a brave, progressive stand for national unity just when our country needs it most!

UPDATE: Oh, shit. My bad.

Umm, Things Just Got Weirder in Colombia

If that's even possible. I quote, from the afternoon wires:

Mr. Uribe raised the possibility that one of the hostages, a boy thought to be 3 years old and fathered by a guerrilla, could have turned up in Bogota.

The Colombian leader said only DNA tests were required to prove or disprove “this hypothesis” — which he said could be done as soon as the boy's grandmother returns from Caracas, where she has been waiting for the release of her daughter, Clara Rojas, and grandson Emmanuel.


So let's call off the whole operation until we get to the bottom of this ridiculously impossible "lede."

Ringing in the Crazy

Oh and this:

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — President Hugo Chavez said Monday he will grant amnesty to people convicted of a failed 2002 coup that briefly drove him from power.
Happy New Year! Is it time to go get drunk yet?

About December 2007

This page contains all entries posted to BoRev.Net in December 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

November 2007 is the previous archive.

January 2008 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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